The Kuchi-e Tradition - Kuchi-e prints are woodblock frontispiece illustrations used in the publication of Japanese novels and magazines around the turn of the 20th century. Most kuchi-e prints were illustrations of bijin and continued the tradition of idealized beauties in Japanese art. The subjects, however, have a decidedly Meiji era feel about them and reflect the artistic movement towards more western design. Kuchi-e prints typically have one or two folds because of their use.
Much interest has been generated in the subject since the publication in 2000 of Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada's book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture." Kuchi-e prints have become highly sought after and collected by the serious collector.
Comments - Beautiful kuchi-e design of a young woman sitting before a low table, writing wishes on poem slips for the annual Tanabata or Star Festival. The poem slips are laid out before her, along with an ink stone. She pauses with brush in hand to look over her shoulder, additional poem slips on the floor next to a stack of bamboo fronds. Lovely burnished detailing in the hairstyle. A fine example of Toshikata's kuchi-e illustrations.
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 8 5/8" x 11 3/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Slight toning, a few creases, small mark and spot. Please see photos for details.
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